I’m yet to do the “sneak the vegetables in” kind of parenting. I think its important that children know what they are eating, learn to distinguish one vegetable from another and understand why they are a part of a healthy diet. They, of course have their preferences, but so we adults. Now that said, I find soups and stews are a wonderful way incorporating many veggies in one dish, especially the ones they are fussy about! They eat it all without any hoo-ha and happily tuck in seconds too as was the case with this White Bean, Barley and Mustard Green Soup!
Last winter both of them announced they will never touch sarson ka saag!! I know, heartbreaking right? Though if I threaten them enough, they will eat some. So had to come up with another way of cooking it. I did a quick stir fry with garlic and they lapped it up!
This time, armed with a pack of beautiful white beans and mustard greens from a local organic farmer’s market, I decided to go the soup way..
Soups are one of my favourite meals to cook up. They are really as simple as tossing in a whole bunch of stuff in a pot and letting it all simmer away. Leftovers are always welcome as I find the flavours get concentrated and it tastes even better the next day. A hot bowl of soup is always comforting and soothing in this cold weather.
I like the play of textures in my food. I love how the intense garlic flavour, sharp peppery bite from mustard greens are perfectly complemented by the rich buttery white beans ,chewy nutty barley and sweet carrots. Seasoned with warm, aromatic spice mix -dukkah ( recipe given below) steps up the game further. Gloriously hearty and so healthy too. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, this recipe is surely a keeper!
- To avoid overcooking greens in soups, I add them right at the end. Mustard greens do take longer to cook than say, spinach. About 10 -15 minutes cooking time was good enough for us.
- Lemon juice is a mandatory addition to most of my soups. I stir some in just before serving.
- A drizzle of good quality olive oil, some shavings of parmesan cheese does wonders to the dish. I used some sharp cheddar cheese for la familia as that’s what I had in hand. I kept mine sans cheese..clean 30, remember?